Left-Handed SPs By Division

One of the toughest player types to analyze and decide on in fantasy drafts is the left-handed stud who can’t or hasn’t been given a real chance to hit against lefties and thus is a platoon risk. Losing that extra playing time eats into the counting categories. Every year I like to look at the projected lefty starters by division and get an idea of what these potential platoon bats might be facing. We will go division-by-division looking at the projected lefty starters in every rotation and then look at the potential left-handed platoon bats who could affected.

All info was gathered from the Roster Resource Depth Charts

AL EAST: 10

With 10 projected lefties, the AL East has the most in baseball. It is a pretty strong group with Means, Rodriguez, Montgomery, Hill, Yarbrough, and Ryu all being drafted in just about every format while Ray, Matz, and Perez have had their big seasons (especially against lefties) and Akin held them to a .576 OPS in 27 PA last year.

Only Meadows and Tellez are being seen as potential impact players this year (*Justin Mason screams in Cedric Mullins*) and I’m not sure I see Meadows as a real platoon threat. Tellez is also pretty solid against southpaws with a career .259/.307/.457 line in 179 PA.

AL CENTRAL: 7

There are some decent veterans here like Keuchel, Minor, Happ, Duffy, and Boyd.

I didn’t go too deeply into the Central lefties because there aren’t a lot of fantasy relevant bats likely to face a platoon. Gimenez is probably the most fantasy relevant of the bunch with power and speed potential and I think there is a real chance he is just the everyday guy all year at short. Yes, Amed Rosario is there and he will spot in, but I think his future is in the outfield (and he’s playing some OF in Spring Training). The experience of the lefty group could hurt Kirilloff, a rookie looking to make an impact this year.

AL WEST: 9

There are nine lefties in the West, but seven are in just a pair of rotation meanings the Astros (if they had any lefty bats to platoon) and Rangers are subject to all nine, while the Mariners have just five and the A’s just four to worry about for their potential platoons. This is a solid group with lots of talent. Luzardo is the only one who consistently goes very early, but Paxton is a stud when healthy and Heaney, Quintana, Gonzales, and Manaea is quite capable while Puk, Kikicuchi, and Sheffield have nasty stuff.

We could see a good bit of platooning from the Rangers when they are in a cluster or series with the division sans Houston given the five lefties in their starting lineup, three of whom have a bench counterpart (Charlie Culberson, Khris Davis, and Eli White).

NL EAST: 8

This isn’t a terrifying group for the division’s left-handers. Fried is a stud, Corbin is very good, while Smyly and Lester are the crafty lefties, but everyone else has plenty to prove.

Dickerson and Nimmo could be hit by having seven and six lefties, respectively, but Diaz and Herrera aren’t major players in anything but NL-Only leagues. I think any concern is firmly built in the very fair prices for Dickerson (344) and Nimmo (266).

NL CENTRAL: 5

If I have a young lefty bat in this division, I’m letting work through it against this group. Kim is the best of the bunch and has some solid stuff, but doesn’t overpower so the lefties in question could actually gain some knowledge by digging in against him.

This bodes remarkably well for a group of intriguing bats that a lot of us want to see get full time and be given a chance to develop some against same-handed pitching. Pederson and Winker reign chief among them while the rest aren’t necessarily locked in all formats guys, but have their believers (namely Polanco, Shaw, and JBJ for me).

NL WEST: 9

Ouch, tough scene for lefties, particularly the non-Dodgers. They are throwing three studs at southpaws while the Padres add another gem in Snell. If Bumgarner’s velo is indeed back (it’s up early in spring), he’s a tough at-bat and we’ve seen Freeland put up a whole year of excellence while pitching his half his games in Coors.

Rojas is smashing in spring and a Kole Calhoun injury puts him in line for a spot on Opening Day, but Asdrúbal Cabrera is kind of a perfect platoon (while Rojas is filling in for an OF, he is likely to play 2B and send Ketel Marte back into CF). Peralta has always been affordable so his platooning is covered by his 285 ADP. Lux could be platooned because it’s the Dodgers, but manager Dave Roberts seems to be interested in him as a full-time player.

The Giants could realistically run 4-5 platoons with Tommy La Stella/Evan Longoria, Brandon Belt/Darin Ruf 러프, Alex Dickerson/Austin Slater, and Brandon Crawford/Wilmer Flores all pairing up pretty nicely (with Donovan Solano shifting to SS, not Flores). They will face all nine of these arms so I think the short ends of these platoons definitely have some NL-Only value.





Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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Kevinmember
1 year ago

Great idea for analysis, thanks Paul!

Jimmember
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin

Yes, haven’t seen this before.